Charing Cross Hotel
With its expansive, light-filled interior, glass skylight and touches of sea blue, the Charing Cross Hotel has a contemporary, coastal feel. Light wooden tables are surrounded by mismatched wicker chairs and are topped with a rustic arrangement of ceramic tableware. One half of the venue is a stylish 60-seat dining room, the other is a public bar. Adjoining the two is the hotel’s impressive, marble-topped, corrugated American oak bar, where smaller groups can pull up a chair for a light bite and a cocktail. The breezy courtyard area out the back is an inviting spot for afternoon drinks.
The menu is by head chef, Matt Kemp. It is approachable and uses flavours that naturally go together. There’s burgers and pizza alongside some of the chef’s favourites, including a roast chicken dinner pie and house-made baked beans with smoked pork ribs.
The more refined menu in the dining room features a range of dishes inspired by Kemp’s European heritage, balanced with the freshness of locally sourced fish and seafood dishes. Try the crisp pig’s head croquettes, the whole braised lamb shoulder, the albacore tuna and pickled fennel salad and, to finish, a hot Snickers pudding with peanut fudge ice-cream. The dining room also features a range of shared feast options for larger groups, and a homey Sunday night roast menu.